A challenging and rewarding learning experience for all proficient Jazz pianists who want to broaden their vocabulary and improvise more creatively, based around six stunning standards. Andy LaVerne illuminates the chord changes, voicings, embellishments and improvisational ideas that make the standards come to life. You'll begin by learning the basic changes, before moving into more complex renditions, demonstrated at half-speed so that you won't miss a note. Each song is harmonically dissected, opening up huge potentials in reharmonisation and substitution, as well as providing a solid guide for your own improvised melodies.
Explore six beautiful jazz standards and learn chord changes, voicings, embellishments and other essential tools to broaden your jazz vocabulary. Andy teaches both basic and complex versions of each song while recording it on the Yamaha Disklavier. As he replays the disk at half-speed, he gives a detailed explanation of the music. Andy's reharmonization (a different chordal structure under the melody) and contrafacts (a new melody composed over the original chord structure) for each tune complete this in-depth lesson from a master of improvisation.
LaVerne and Abercrombie, longtime musical collaborators and friends, first met in 1968 in Boston while both were students at the Berklee College, and got their inspiration from Bill Evans and Jim Hall. Well schooled in the theory of jazz, both have been playing, teaching, and giving Masterclasses for students and audiences in Colleges and Universities worldwide for many years.
About this title: This 1993 recording is a follow-up to an earlier duo session by Andy LaVerne and John Abercrombie, although they add bassist George Mraz and drummer Adam Nussbaum for this date. Following a rather upbeat, introspective arrangement of the standard "Beautiful Love," they stick to originals by either the pianist or the guitarist. LaVerne's "Mother of Pearl" is a shimmering post-bop work that is full of surprises, while "Opal" is a treasure of a different sort, prominently featuring Abercrombie's brittle-sounding electric guitar. Abercrombie's "Monk Like" has a quirky line much like its namesake might employ, and the unpredictable ballad "Farewell" serves as an appropriate conclusion to this enjoyable CD. ~ Ken Dryden, All Music Guide
Coming off his Grammy-nominated 2013 album, The World According to Andy Bey, vocalist/pianist Andy Bey delivers the equally compelling 2014 release Pages from an Imaginary Life. As with its predecessor, Pages finds the jazz iconoclast returning to his roots with a set of American Popular Song standards done in a ruminative, stripped-down style. This is Bey, alone at the piano, delving deeply into the harmony, melody, and lyrics of each song. But don't let the spare setting fool you. Bey is a master of interpretation. In his seventies at the time of recording, and having performed over the years in a variety of settings from leading his own swinging vocal trio, to working with hard bop pioneer Horace Silver, to exploring the avant-garde with Archie Shepp, Bey has aged into a jazz oracle who doesn't so much perform songs as conjure them from somewhere in the mystical ether of his psyche.